No Cost of Living Adjustment for 2016

The 2016 cost of living adjustment (COLA) for federal benefits will be zero for 2016.  This is because the index used to determine  military retirement, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability payments, and social security shows that there has been no overall inflation since last September.  The dramatic decrease in the cost of gasoline has cancelled out all the other price increases, leaving a net negative Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).  This is the third time of no increase since increases were made automatic in 1975.   Federal payments are received by about 80 million US residents each year, including retired and disabled workers and their families, disabled veterans, and federal retirees.

The short version of what I’ve just said:  no increase in military retirement, VA disability, or social security in 2016.

No Good For Seniors

The formula used to calculate COLAs isn’t perfect because it uses data from families who make most of their income from wages.  It specifically excludes families who get most of their income from Social Security and pensions.  The families actually receiving federal benefits, typically retirees and the disabled, have different spending patterns than those currently working.  In particular, federal benefit recipients tend to spend less on gasoline (no commuting) and more on health care, where costs have been rising rapidly.  Unfortunately, the current economic trends mean that federal benefit recipients are actually spending more on their expenses, but they won’t be getting an increase in benefits because costs haven’t risen for the group that is polled for the calculations.

This is all the more frustrating because there actually IS a Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E).  Wouldn’t it make sense to increase payments to primarily older folks based upon an index that actually measures spending for the older.

The Good News

Now, I know there isn’t a lot of good news in the fact that your monthly benefits won’t be increasing next year.  However, there is a sliver of positive:  your monthly benefits won’t go down.  Under federal law, payments remain the same even when there is negative inflation, like we are facing right now.

I wish I had better news about the COLA for 2016, because a lot of everyday expenses have gone up.  Unfortunately, the math doesn’t support an increase at this time.




About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Shannon

    Did Congress get a pay raise?

    • Kate

      Congress has not had a pay raise since 2009. Congressional raises happen automatically, but each year Congress has passed legislation to prohibit their raises from occurring.

      • Shannon

        Thank you. At least that makes me feel a bit better!

        • Smarterthenyou

          It shouldn’t Shannon lol , “Members of Congress are paid $174,000 annually, and haven’t enjoyed a pay raise since 2009. Staffers are paid considerably less, with the average staff assistant on the Hill earning roughly $35,000 per year.” Do they really need a raise?

          • Shannon

            No, they need to receive what we veterans and retired military receive honestly however getting my blood boiling by reading this first thing as I open my eyes today would be counterproductive…after all “VA IS LYING VETERANS ARE DYING”!

          • Dealer08

            Their pay should be related to the average income of an American. Then maybe they will actually put in policies that benefit all Americans instead of just trying to buy votes with freebies.

          • Allen Shaw

            What does the “Average American earn?
            The problem with congress today is a lack of unity in the nation! Different parts of this nation think differently and it is blocking progress. The Tea Party is gaining strength and blocking legislation from being passed.

          • Sam

            Lets add in all their wonderful insurance and benefits to their nice salaries! I wish that EVERY AMERICAN including the Prez, Congress, Senate had to eat the health care program that was shoved down our throats or better yet, UP OUR ……….

          • Kate

            Sam, Congress actually has fewer health care choices than military members or veterans, and they pay for their health care at rates similar to most civilians (more than military folks.) Legislators, and their staff, are required to purchase their care through the Affordable Care Act health care exchanges.

            Tricare, whether active duty or retiree, is still one of the least expensive and most comprehensive health care coverages available.

          • patrick o’donovan

            so does that mean i have to start selling drugs to make ends meet.

        • Carrie

          It seems that our government wants us to watch their backs and sacrifice our lives ( those who serve now and our veterans who served before), but when we look for at least a cost of living
          raise once a year we are told nothing has changed and we are spending more now than last year I don’t know where I have spent more. As a female army veteran I know I never let this country down, I watched everyone’s back and believe this government owes me the respect for my service and of all military and veterans who made this country what it is. Thanks to all who serve now and for all the veterans who put their life’s in jeopardy for those who our country seem to take for granted!

          • Sirad M Little

            I am a veteran with disability benefits and my question is why did we serve to get downgraded like the chicken with a broke leg

          • JoeW

            Carrie, well said, and I agree with you.
            Thank you for your service!

      • Robert

        Ive been living under a rock, so I hope your wright.

        • Watchin the fun

          Robert – You’ve been living under a rock since Kindergarten !
          I hope YOU’RE RIGHT, Too !

      • usnret69

        Congress FINALLY does something right. They DO NOT earn what they are paid now.

      • Joe

        No problem no Congressman ever retired poorer than when first elected. You are either a liar or you have your head in the sand.

      • Jerome

        They are to busy giving money away overseas and other ways.

    • john fesler

      I hope the memebers of Congress still has a sliver of humanity to defer any pay raises for themselves for 2016….who am I fooling….they answer only to their Handlers and the American People….after all they, for most part, are multi millionaries so who cares if granny can’t afford meds next year….she can’t get through the front desk phones to talk to her, so called, elected offical anyway.

      • Kate

        I will be very surprised if Congress does not pass legislation to prevent their raise from occurring. They have done so every year since 2009, even when federal beneficiaries have receive COLAs between 1.5% and 3.6%, and they are quite aware that federal beneficiaries are not receiving a COLA this year.

    • Wes

      Did Congress & the President get a raise?

      • Kate

        Congress and the President do not receive COLA. Congressional raises are automatic (as are COLA when the CPI-W supports it), but Congress has voted to prevent their raises every year since 2009.

    • Wes

      Did Congress & the President get a pay raise or COLA?

    • Joseph

      i agree with you they use so many excuse why we dont get a rais but i am sure congress voted in there rais for 2016. wish the govt stop makeing excuse and give us our COLA we depend on it. how about we take away congress and the preisdents money and see how they like it but they have money to pay for what happen at that hospital and sending money to every one else but to us

      • sammy

        They pay out very little, they have the best free health care at our expense.

        • Kate

          Sammy, this is not accurate. Members of Congress and their staffs are required to purchase their health care through a health insurance exchange set up as part of the Affordable Care Act. Prior to being required to use the health care exchanges, legislators and their staff were permitted to use the same Federal Employees Health Beneifts Program, the same insurance as all non-military federal employees.

          • JoeW

            Kate, I appreciate the comments you add, providing these insights. It would be nice if you also could cite a reputable, verifiable source or two. Thank you.

    • Joe

      Of course congress got a raise !!! And, they make enough that they don’t need a raise!!!!

    • Patrick

      Actually Congress hasn’t seen a pay raise since 2009 when it was raised to $174,000. A $3,000 raise is on the table for Jan 2016, but no firm decision has been made. I think it is unlikely they’ll get a raise.

    • Harold Jones

      But with their benefits it’s like a raise because there is little or no cost for the ever increasing cost of medical & other free benefits, i.e. expense accounts, travel etc.). Many seniors and veterans are hurting and need and should get a raise every year (utilities & groceries for instance).MSG Jones Ret.

    • Abi Cusi

      Hi! My mom is a dependent of my active duty husband. She is consider as Tricare direct/plus. What paper work do we need to present for filling tax?

      • Kate

        Abi, Tricare Plus is not considered minimum essential coverage as required under the Affordable Care Act. Is your mother receiving Medicare benefits? You may need to consult with a tax professional if she did not have additional coverage beyond Tricare Plus.

  • Carol

    They keep giving food stamps to people who will not work. With these stamps they can buy lobster, etc. why not help veterans and elderly so they can buy more than peanot butter and bread.

    • Joseph

      i am a vet and ret. and i know how you feel the govt dont give a dam about us vet’s or elder folks.And your right i have seeing people with food stamps pay with it then buy other things that are not allow on food stamps and pull out wades of money

      • Allen Shaw

        I don’t know how you relate the two things you say you saw! How do you know that the wads of money belongs to the purchaser. You are assuming!
        First you can always report fraud if you know the facts. Second you probable are a blowhard that thinks you can say anything on a blog because you do not have to be honest. Third you should be glad that you are not eligible for benefits for the unfortunate!

      • tracy

        Joseph, if they are paying for other things with a SNAP card, more than likely they are getting a welfare check each month. You can’t buy anything other than food with food stamps.

    • tracy

      HUM, Carol expects children to go to work. WOW most mothers who get food stamps get them for their children. What does people like Carol want to do? Starve them? I bet Carol is one of those people who claim to be pro-lifers which means more and more children will be brought into the world and if she has her way, they will starve to death once they get here.

      • Macfanz

        I have personally witnessed the purchase of a $657.00 wedding cake using the food stamp card. You are right her poor starving kids will have to eat off of that wedding cake.

    • ert Anderson Sr

      They are also bringing in ones from the MIDDLE EAST (Obama’s kin?) All these so called Immigrants are getting money from OUR government to live on BUT they will not give ones who can barely make it on SS a small raise ? I say CUT ALL in CONGRESS’S PAY BY 20% and see how they react? OVER PAID BLOATED GLORY SEEKERS who DO NOT EARN their money !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! REMEMBER-Next YEAR IS ELECTION YEAR !!!!!!!!!!!

    • Guest

      Not everyone who gets foodstamps “refuses to work”.I only get enough foodstamps to last a week.And I eat ramen noodles,not lobster.I don’t know anyone on foodstamps who eats lobster!! I can’t even afford the fake kind!!!There is alot of fs fraud and abuse where I live,but it’s not fair to want to punish the Innocent with the guilty!!!I cannot Work.I was run over by a car and can hardly walk and was born with visual disabilities and I others.I worked until I was forced to retire due to my didabilities.They system is not adequate,I do not abuse it.I was ta I sed to be honest.Illegals&noncitizens should be allowed to get government benifits,nor cheaters,but alot of people would not survive without them,so get off your high horse!!

    • Jackie
  • Stan

    Seems like when gas prices were high, this was not included in figuring the COLA for that year. But, now it becomes the main reason for now COLA increase, when the price is lower.

    • Shannon

      Amen Carol!

    • Shannon

      That would require logical reasoning on the part of the government…

    • Joe

      Food is not considered in the CPU.. Obviously these fools never by eggs or poultry and meat. No inflation?! IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • mike

      The administration only uses numbers that will benefit their political agenda. If they approved a COLA increase they would not have money to spend on Obamacare. another example of the administration not respecting the Retirees and DV’s

    • Tim

      That’s right ,gas is down but look at the increase in food prices or don’t the people who figure out their formulas go grocery shopping?

      • Levi

        No, someone shops for them, cooks it & with smile serves it & cleans up so she can go home to eat her peanut butter sandwich.

    • Aubrey Campbell

      I concur Stan! We did not get a huge raise when gas was $4.00 a gallon.

    • forgottenvet

      I found this>>>>(1) PERCENTAGE.—Except as provided in paragraph (2), each dollar amount described in subsection (b) shall be increased by the same percentage as the percentage by which benefit amounts payable under title II of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 401 et seq.) are increased effective December 1, 2015, as a result of a determination under section 215(i) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 415(i)).


    • Charles

      your 100% correct. I just wonder who in hell does the figuring on this. Also, why is Part B premiums going up for most of us; isn,t this part of the price increase. When you are in Govt you can figure it anyway you would like. The real reason is because our beloved President has got to have extra money to support all the immigrents he has coming into our country.

    • Sam

      So then this explains why the gas prices were allowed to go low and stay that way this year…they didn’t want to have to give COLA raises in 2016…watch the prices go way back up in 2016.

    • Leon Suchorski

      And yet they are saying that oil will be back up over $80.00 a bbl. by December.

    • Tom

      Term limits and all the stupid crap stops, they (congress) start servicing the people again instead of always using their time to get re-elected.

    • sam

      Are they aware most seniors and severely wounded service men and woman DO NOT DRIVE ? ARE they AWARE that beef and most meats have increased so much that we resorted to eating eggs for protein? ARE THEY AWARE Eggs have increased over 100%? ALL foods have increased yet they worry about lower gas prices? Our money is in that pool (That used to be so huge it never would have run dry until the government borrowed from it) we don’t get interest on that money that was taken from us, we will never get back what we paid in. They decided to give it to people coming into the US that never put a dime into our funds. Many people have died just before collecting benefits, where is all that money? WE ARE FED UP AND THE NEXT ELECTIONS WILL SHOW JUST HOW MUCH! No wonder the polls are going crazy now.

    • Tony

      Actually food stamps (food assistance) had, has no bearing on it the major thing is the dramatic decrease in the cost of gas Now why would there be such a decrease during this time …

    • Robert Anderson Sr

      They also do no live in CLARK CO. Nevada ! It used to be S. Calif. as too high-Now Las Vegas is !!!!!!!!!!! avg $2.86- Country $2.26 ???

  • Carl

    What about this,,,I know it’s not law yet,,but then…

    • forgottenvet

      Ya think the rate increase might be for ‘administration purposes’??>>>to amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, to improve the processing of claims by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

  • RespectTheArmy

    But Obama says all is well in government so why No Cola? If everything is so great as the administration says then why no Cola. Forgot we need to spend money on wasteful projects!!!!!!!

    • Kate

      The calculation of COLA is completely unrelated to how things are going in the government. It is determined by using the Consumer Price Index for Workers – it is a survey of typical spending.

    • Robert Phillips

      The President has nothing to do with whether we get COLA or not. If anything blame Congress.

      • Kate

        Mr. Phillips – I’m curious…are you suggesting that we blame Congress because they have not changed which formula that is used to calculate COLA, or for some other reason?

    • John Ulstrom

      Respect the Army, It’s not President Obama (Our Commander In Chief) but Congress. They never mention gas prices when they’re high but let the price of gas drop a little and now, they say, gas is so cheap we can’t justify a cost of living raise. They for got to mention how expensive food has gotten. Eggs are at an all time high because of the bird flu. Beef is at an all time high because of a continuing drought in the west. The exchange is no longer a deal for military members it’s cheaper to shop at Wal Mart. Yet Congress get six figure salaries for working 137 days a year. Vote them all out.

    • Pte

      Obama has lied, about cutting the debt in half by end of his first term, Obamacare, Libya, so I have gotten use to the Great Liar and his rhetoric.
      As someone said earlier, we spend 43 billion a year hosting illegal immigrants,money that could be spent else.

    • Robert

      The president has nothing to do with COLA pay raises. This is all done at Congress level. So stop blaming the POTUS.

  • Claire O’Brien

    I vote that Congress and the President switch their pay salaries with one disabled Vet and/or his or her surviving spouse for one year. Then the ones that make and vote on these laws will have a taste of what is it like to pinch pennies all the time.

    • Joseph

      Oh i so agree with you or give us there pay for a year and let them live off what we take home and see how they like it freeze there bank account and let them live on what we make for the whole year

  • Babbs

    The information that was used in this report was prior to the fiscal year ending. They should do another report based on the whole year. You see the prices of everything when up 1 Oct 2015. It has been like that every since they changed the COLA, etc increases from 1 Oct each year to 1 Jan each year. You know you can make any statistics look anyway you want when you don’t want to do something. In this case, give an increase in COLA.

    • Allen Shaw

      The fiscal years end September 30.

  • John L Donovan

    the zero increase is a joke; Seniors do no drive their cars hardly at all, only to go to the grocery store and to their doctors. I drive about 4000 miles a year, and I am given the excuse that the gasoline prices have gone done that I get hit for zero increase. I can see the non increase for people who are working and driving.
    Next year when the gas prices go down again we seniors will be dinged again with a zero COLA. I do not believe that the COLA should penalize the old folks.

    • Joseph

      your right it should not penalize us old folks or vets its a shame how this govt works with the american people it sucks but they can spend money where not needed just like how long will it take for those people in NC get money to rebuild or the poor folks in CALF. with the fires. the poor people in NJ still waiting for there money as will as those still in New orleians

  • karsinger

    And so you shall get the chance to vote….This entire government including all of those that make or suggest policy need to return to this diminished job opportunity economy and try to make a living. As it is, not one of the lawmakers that are in congress know how to do anything other than pass more laws. Elect some common sense, common people at the grass roots and let’s get rid of these parasites, either in the next election or by growing their replacements.

    • ProudtobeMarine

      Good luck with that plan. The entire system’s rigged. Our votes aren’t worth spit. Why do you think nothing’s changed? Same old fossils (career politicians) stay in office, continuing to screw the people while they sit on the arses and rake in the dough. The entire system’s busted and needs to be fixed, reset and cleaned up. Per the Constitution, TERM LIMITS !!!!

    • WC Smith III

      That is exactly what a large group of us “Old/Retirees” have been saying for a while now.. It is high time we put some of these “career politicians” out to pasture and let them see how it IS. Nope, would not do any good. They will still be drawing their salary. FOR LIFE!!!!
      Don’t you wish you had that kind of job? And don’t have to work either.

  • Rick

    Why don’t you give the true picture. Yes, there has been no COLA increase only three times since 1975 but, truth is ALL three times have been under the Obama Administration 2010, 2011 and 2016.

    • RLS516

      COLA is approved by Conggress who has the budget authority. I’m sure you feel better by blaming the black man in the wH, but he has nothing to do with it. Call your Congressperson.

      • Rick

        Since you don’t have the courage to use your name, it does not surprise me that you would bring up the RACE issue. I don’t give a damn if he is Black, White or Green. Three of my BLACK brothers in arms gave me their blood of transfusions, so they call me BROTHER too. Back to the point, the President can veto a bill. And as far as the budget is concerned our President has certainly found ways to implement his programs (ACA, etc) and Congress and the taxpayers get stuck with paying the bill via a shame budget.

        • Allen Shaw

          Ronald Reagan is responsible for the COLA and congress has messaged it on occasions.
          It is discussed however not yet been changed by any congress.
          Now you are just one of many who like to blame the current President for all of the problems that exist, however the facts are the financial conditions are getting better and each year have gotten better since this President has been in office.
          The fact that the COLA has not increased means there has been no increase in the general cost of living and is actually a good thing.

          Write your congress representative and your Senator’s and suggest changes in the COLA to reflect the proper cost!

    • Joe

      Lets get a Republican in the White House, you think you are a struggling middle class, than you will be in the “POOR HOUSE”

    • Anton M

      Hi Rick.I am with you on cola,but you got the wrong person.

  • They have to pay for all the cash benefits and health care for illegals and drug dealers who won’t work and they need more foreign aid money. It’s much easier to screw us. The cost of living has gone way up. Eggs cost four times as much as they did last year. Everything does. It’s a joke.

    • RLS516

      Watch Fox much? Illegals cannot get health care. They pay cash IF they go to the doctor, they don’t use ED’s. Nor can they receive any public assistance. Drug dealers can afford to get all the medical care they & their families need.

  • sandra

    COLA has nothing to do with seniors! Gas prices down? Who cares? I do not drive much anymore. But hate going to the doctors and food shopping, because I can barely afford it!

  • Rick

    Furthermore, the decision on zero COLA was made based on the price of gasoline for July, August and September. How convenient is that for the Administration; gasoline during the Summer months as traditionally been higher, ergo more people on the road, that other times of the year. When will the story break that the prices were fixed?

    • Alison

      Maybe they should have made their decision on the price of eggs. I know I can’t afford them.

    • Kate

      The automatic zero COLA is based upon prices of a wide variety of goods and services across the entire fiscal year (1 October 2014 to 30 September 2015.) Gasoline is just one portion of the calculations, but the significant decrease in the cost of gasoline certainly impacted the results.

      This is the same formula that has been used for decades. There is nothing to be fixed.

  • nico47

    550,000,000 $ for a failed project to train people who will not fight for their country. ZERO for those of us that have and DO….

    • Watchin the fun !

      That’s why we need a President who is a successful business person and not a politician ! – VOTE FOR THE DONALD ! ! ! ! !

    • ron cam

      the best one yet how true this should be sent to all the government officials be sure that obummer gets it too

  • Rick

    How many billions of dollars will the Administration spend in a NO COLA YEAR on illegal immigrants or send to North Korea, Iran or any where the Administration desires to sign a TREATY in the name of LEGACY for our President; money that could be spent on senior citizens social security recipients who worked all their lives to pay into the system and especially those of us Disabled “American” Veterans who additionally shed our blood in defense of our Country. Where has the “America” gone that I once knew and was then willing to die for?

    • roncam

      this excellent you hit the nail on the head

  • Boats

    Let’s stand up!!! We voted these people in we can vote them out…
    Let’s get someone to make a bill to change the way CPI-W for COLA is calculated.

    • roncam

      they changed it a few years ago and this is the result

  • Barry Kander

    That being the case, why did my Tricare insurance increase this quarter based on the expected raise in monthly retirement?

    • Keven

      Excellent question. I’m wondering about that too.

    • Kate

      Mr. Kander, the changes in Tricare costs are completely unrelated to the calculations that determine COLA. COLA is determined by the Consumer Price Index, a formula that includes information about a wide variety of products and services.

  • Watchin’ the fun !

    America, or what’s left of it went down the drain in 2008 and again in 2012 when the STUPID American public believed the bullcrap LIES that were told just to get an ineligible into power !

    • roncam

      the stupid voters some of the majority are getting what they asked for hope they enjoy this news

  • commoguy46

    So I don’t get a COLA in my military retirement or in my social security and I don’t even own a car.

    • jeryi

      makes two of us no car BUT taxi s and Pub trans take a bite out, not to mention u have to go somewhere and rely on family who CHARGE u!!

  • Tee Barkdull

    Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Thanks for nothing!!!
    How big was YOUR pay hike??? Why do you people do this to the people that kept you safe and fought for you and some died for you?? Why do you all ways screw the Military and it’s Retired Folk???? Shame on you all???

    • Sandy

      this is a dirty shame ,we all know they (the gov) will get there raise that they themselves vote in.I did not see this one coming ,grocerys alone have almost reached the boiling point ,also they are not suppose to use energy in their cost of living indexThat is what they said when fuel oil was 4$ a gallon I know WE PAID IT

  • Katherine

    we don,t get an increase but every person in the white will get one . Why don,t they just give up there increases and send it to all of us who could really use it. My house payment went up because of the home insurance went up. this is the kind of things that cause people to loose our home. make the rich richer and make us save more of our income to get by . no more to be said

  • Manuel Canino

    No COLA increase for the third time under Obama , it is obvious his administration has no consideration for the retired elderly, veterans and middle class seniors. It is ridicule to back the NO COLA increase due to lower gasoline prices as we all know that most food items, dental and medical health services had gone UP and will go up further more in 2016. We need a TRUE change in GOVERMENT policies, one that functions for the people specially the poor and middle class seniors. No wonder TRUMP/Cruz will be the ticket for PRESIDENT as most Americans in general are very disappointed with the current governing administration.

    • roncam


    • Rich

      The formula is not determined by the administration – it has been in place for a long time. That is good. I don’t see how the fact the CPI-U is low (or high) is particularly related to any President or administration.

      All social insurance benefits (Social Security, Medicare) and even governmental systems (military retirement) need adjustments from time to time; if small adjustments are made, the later adjustments can be less harsh. One problem for the US is that the conservatives/liberals Republicans/Democrats) – you pick a label – in Congress have generally not attempted to tweak the systems for years. No single party, nor President, will resolve these issues without all sides coming to some compromises and agreements.
      I have lobbied for higher cost medical insurance for higher paid military, as one small example. But all those who would then need to pay a little more object.

      We need to ALL compromise a little – otherwise our “systems” may fall apart financially.

      Rich Mathes

      • Jackie

        I wonder how many people that are complaining, spoke or wrote their congress representatives about no COLA increase this year?

    • Esther

      I too am disappointed that we seniors have been denied acost of living increase for 2016, but it could be worst, because some lawmakers would like to abolish social security altogether. We can still vote! Educate yourself on the
      Positions of the candidates..

    • Ssh

      I am voting for trump you vote for Cruz he’ll bring more immigrants and Mexicans here and make a better life for their people that’s why the blacks mostly is suffering from this no one cares about the black race never have although the American black fought for their civil rights and served their country and still don’t get recognized.

    • Steve Connor

      if he economy was so great, then COLAs would not be delayed. Wages have not kept up since the early-mid 1980’s when inflation was finally tamed by Reagan. We were so far behind then, we really have not caught up, not even close.

    • Jonathan

      trump is taking ss away from everyone cause he dont need it and i wuold vote for crus or any republican no matter if it was last ones on earth

  • carrie

    No inflation is a bad joke. Everyone who goes to the grocery store or buys clothing knows that it is not true, but how the numbers get manipulated in by the DC crowd assume that we are all too old and stupid to understand what is happening. Hopefully that is not true.

  • Rose

    Does the goverment ever think about military widows???I have to support myself
    and it is very hard to pay my bills and every dollar counts for me.Every year I have to borrow money to pay my county and city taxes.Medicare is going up every year
    and I dont even want to talk about the food prices.America is going to the dogs!

    • Paula

      You have to fight VA to get widows benefits after spouse dies. It took me 5 months to get my moms benefits after husband died my step dad told me to be prepared to fight to get her his benefits back he gave me all,his records Korea,and Vietnam and being 2 miles from ground zero upshot knothole atomic bomb testing in Nv. He said he lost most of his hair within 2 weeks of test he died from lung cancer Doctors said due to cig. Smoking doctors wrote on death cert. I made them change that like I said my Dad told me how to fight them so I was prepared VA had him on daily amoxicillin since the 1980s it said in his records he had bronchitis that never went away yet in his reports I read he had something on his lungs all,those,years and just treated him for bronchitis from the 1980s until they finally said in 1999 he had stage 4 cancer everywhere he died 5 months later he was a great guy he told me how,to fight for him and my MomSomAfter he died it took me 5 months to get them to admit he wasm100percent permanent due to service 9’months short of the 10 years he had to be 100 percent permanent they fought me until they could see I wasn’t giving up if it was not for treatment for agency orange I might still be fighting them it was all I needed to get my Mom the benefits shortly after that they finally admitted to bomb testing I will always remember he told me to never give up that’s what they want you to do. I hope this story may help other Vets. You have to fight for what you have earned but to never give up! and I didn’t he was the best step dad ever in honor of my Dad James Bruns.

  • Passion48

    I rather have something then nothing.Is hard for a lot of other people that’s mentally ill. We veterans are struggling everyday to survive and stay strong.Even if we protest they are not going to listen.The congress is going to decide regardless for all of us. What are they! REPUBLICANS

    • larry

      Obama is an economic terrorist his father was a Fascist and hated America and Democracy his mother hated America and Christianity; that’s why Obama is so screwed up. He may have been born in America? But he grew up with a 3rd world mentality with very few or no American values. If you listen closely to his comments it’s always about how bad Americans, police and military people are. He is trying to destroy America from within; if you are a Christian and voted for Obama the second time around you should ask God for forgiveness if you were a Democrat and voted for Obama in the second election there is no hope for you because you’re just plain stupid!


      the most of them are REPUBLICANS

  • Carroll harris

    You can bet that Congress will get their raises! ,

    • Kate

      I will be very surprised if Congress gets a raise. Despite being written into federal law, Congress has not received a pay raise since 2009. Every year, they have passed legislation that prohibits their pay raise from happening.

  • Art

    Guess my landlord didn’t get the message – as my lot rent increases in Jan which would have wiped out any pay increase……that I might have received.

  • David Anderson

    To all those sending me requests for donations……tough luck!!!!!!

  • It makes me sick to see these folks that are on food stamps sell them for money to buy drugs. To heck with feeding the kids.

  • Passion48

    I just moved to Colorado Springs CO . I did not know it was so expensive.I also don’t own a vehicle and have to take cabs. Cabs are very expensive and I have other bills to pay I don’t have it like that to pay cabs. Everything is far outhere. This is a sorry state.

  • Jim Billings

    Go Trump. How much worse can he be for all of us who are vets and retired?? NO COLA.. Enjoy YOUR RAISE MR. PRESIDENT!

  • Nathan

    The reason given for not giving a COLA increase next year is total bull, they say that there has been no inflation, that’s crap, whom ever is crunching the numbers probably are getting a 6 figure salary, it seems to me that we’re being punished for conserving. So we conserve like we’re always being told, and get nothing in return. The price of food is going up, the price of gas goes up but never seems to come back sown to where it was originally at, utilities go up, especially living here in So Cal, water bills are threw the roof in some parts of the state. And they still say that there is no inflation…again, what a bunch of bull!

  • VNV Cruiser

    If this is the case, and I know for a fact that the national average is $.58 per mile to operate a POV, and the VA reimburses those veterans eligible for travel allowance at $.415 per mile driven round trip, (less a $6.00 deductible), why is there still so much WASTE at the VA? I just got back from the newest VA facility in Atlanta. It houses some of the specialized clinics, dermatology, behavior, dental, and the dental chairs had MASSAGE units in them. Sure, they feel good, but are they necessary for the 20-30 minutes the hygienist has you in the chair? There was not laminate counter tops anywhere, nor man made (Corian) countertops either. All STONE. Sliding glass doors, great lighting, but one thing that did not change from moving this clinic from the VAMC on Clairmont Rd to the Devry Institute building is that every clerk still has that “I am a federal employee and I hate my job” attitude.
    Hire VETS first !!!

  • Watchin’ the fun !

    The “wrong” happened in 2008 and AGAIN in 2012 becasue more than 100% of registered voters voted for an ineligible to lead this country ! Thank GOD – yes, G-O-D, that it CAN’T happen again in 2016 !

  • Juanita

    This makes me sick. Cola goes by gas prices? Lot of us disabled and senos don’t even drive a lot. We aren’t buying the gas. And I hear we have too much oil and in the Summertime gas did go down but watch January comes you all will raise the gas prices again in till Summertime comes again so you don’t have to give another increase. Come on you in the government know food, medication, Healthcare cost and our home mortgage went way up this year. Even people who rent prices are too high. I think you all need to do the COLA calculations different for seniors who worked and paid into there benefits and veterans who fought for our country. I understand for 2008 2009 that we gave up our raises to do our part to help rebuild. But not this time totally don’t understand. I just thinking since you did this to us then you think it’s OK to keep doing it again. So wrong!!!! For us we just got a noticethat PG &E are going up in prices also just got a notice that sewer costs are going up starting next year and will continue to go up for 5 years. Also our mellow Roos and taxes have gone way up that it made our new mortgage payment to pay over a $100 more. So why are you going by the gas prices???? Something g is very very WRONG here.

  • Ronald Gibson

    You can rested assured that the Congress will not vote no on December 31, 2015 when it comes time to vote to increase their salary by 10 percent

  • Guest

    Does the government see where food has gone up and seniors don’t drive as much to pay for gas. They also have medicine to pay for. Some don’t even take all the medicine because they try to save money. Maybe congress and Obama should give up their raises. Obama doesn’t care about old people or veterans any way

  • oorbear

    Vote all the idiots out

    • Noel

      Yes put 4 year limit on the House and 6 years on the Senate.

  • Chris smith

    Does that mean food costs, an everyday expenditure is not calculated in the process? Or how about foreign aid? Is that going to increase? How about payments to anchor babies or illegal immigrants? How about pay to members of congress or the senate? Disable veterans have paid a price for the freedoms that everyone else takes for granted, but are included in calculations that affect other folks. Not that the increases mean much anyway, however, they can be a welcoming gesture to disabled veterans that sacraficed their limbs in an effort to ensure the losers we call citizens can spend their lives in an unmeanigful, unproductive, and absurd manner.

    • Kate

      Food costs are one of the many costs that are included in the CPI-W. Foreign aid and illegal immigrants have nothing to do with COLA.

  • unbelieveable

    I think it’s a damn shame to penalize the ones who need assistance, and are disabled at the expense of those that do quite well, and have reaped the benefits on the massive mistakes of others

    • RLS516

      Vote Blue 2016!

  • bill

    I know a elders couple get $45.00 a month in food stamp in IDAHO. and no social security raise it hurt them. Idaho governor is a crook he really do not care about senior he give the people under 65 get a food stamp raise .

  • Pat Lord

    REALLY ?? Are these decision makers living in the same country I live in?? Who is buying their food and clothing. It almost seems that every time you visit a store for your needs the costs go up. If gasoline went down recently why didn’t other costs follow, clearly they did not. I recently bought pellets for my stove for the winter, the price averaged almost $50.00 higher this year than last. I could site other examples as well but who cares what a senior veteran says anyway.

  • Steve

    2 months ago the government was predicting 2.7% but Obama said it would be 1.7% just because. Gas prices was lower then too. Now its 0.

  • walter gaylord

    what is Obama and congress doing the cost of food is up and keep going up along with Medicare , we still have pay for food but Obama and congress still get their big pay days, and we the senior are still paying for them I don,t get it. how long do we the people have to foot the bill.

  • Travis Sutton

    Congress and POTUS should give a COLA increase to those service members serving in arms way. Some will not come back due to paying the ultimate sacrifice (family members would benefit), others will come back mentally and/or physically wounded. DOD was authorized a $600+ billion budget of which up to 1%+ would be categorized as wasteful spending. Up to $6 billion would easily cover those service members COLA.

    • Kate

      Mr. Sutton, the Cost of LIving Adjustment being discussed here is not the same adjustment to the basic pay received by currently serving members. This is the change to federal benefits such as military retirement pay and social security.

  • Pete Boco

    Our government is quick to provide “aid” to countries who are in crisis; that aid comes from our tax dollars. Our brother military and veterans who have suffered traumatic injuries aren’t completely taken care of and rely on “donations” from caring American’s who truly appreciate their sacrifice their selfless devotion to our country. Something is wrong with this picture.

  • ragazzo

    you all should be ashamed of yourself in washington send billions overseas it was ok when wall street made millions when gas was 4 dollars a gallion they laughed all the way to the bank you get your raises behind close doors i have been a democrat all my life but i dont know now the president dont care now he cant be re elected and i voted for him both times i am a vietnam vet 2 tours and diabled not one democrat inthe debate mentioned one time about veterans shame on you

  • Levi

    Congress and the president all have the say about our COLA’s. In fact, earlier this year the president only wanted to give a 1% raise to military, retires. VA disibilities and social security. However, congress wanted to give military and I believe retirees a 1.6% COLA increase. So I guess everyone ended up with nothing !!! No, I don’t believe congress men or women ever goes to a grocery store. Their maids do all the shopping, cooking, serving (with a required smile) followed by the perpetual clean-up. She then takes her tired self home and fixes a delicious peanut butter sandwich minus the milk and apple because the last two items are limited on her budget. She probably doesn’t get a pay raise either. The president we all know eats well & doesn’t shop. As far as stats go we all know they can be manipulated to give the results wanted by the parties requesting them. The Navy has a great
    Gadson Flag showing a rattlesnake which says: “Don’t tread on me.”
    Just saying !!

    • Kate

      Mr. Levi, Congress and the President have no say in the the cost of living adjustment for federal benefits. It is determined by the Consumer Price Index – Workers, as dictated by federal law. The CPI-W is an index, which means that it is a formula that never changes.

      You may find it interesting to read about the history of the COLA:

    • Jason

      Gadson Flag was not from the navy. The striped naval ensign does have 13 stripes and a rattlesnake with those words, but it isn’t called the Gadson flag.

  • Chuck

    Democrat,Republican or seems that these elected officials are playing the chicken with each other and don’t really care about why they were voted into raises for elected officials Fed,State,Municipal are the norm,but No Cola for seniors (ssa/retirement) retired Military and the ultimate insult,Disabled Veterans! what a power trip these politicians are and have been on,get rid of them all,Boehner Knows he flew over the ” Cuckkoo Nest !

  • ravyaron

    They won’t give us a COLA but they are raising the copays for Tricare Pharmacy, because of increased costs. How does this add up?

  • Dave

    The previous two times there was no COLA given, they lied to us and said no inflation, but they left food and fuel out of the equation. No reason to think anything different this time. Rents have gone up all over the country, as well as food.
    Sad, they are using this money for projects not helping our military or seniors.

  • Marc Hirschhorn

    Seams like when I was working the retired ranks and the seniors were getting the cloas. Now it’s my turn and the baby boomer are getting screwed big time.
    Congress gets theres but we the babyboomers dont !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    No cola but medicare goes up and then we get even small checks.

  • Pman1945

    Well there is a lot of complaining about the lack of a increase. But that is all it will be. They have the laws, police, armed forces, guns and the ability to block everything that is said. Most of all they have the rich and powerful behind them. Voting doesn’t work as we have seen all the liars that have gone before us. Maybe more of them should fall from our grace. If we don’t change what is going on we will continue to suffer, starve go homeless and all the other ills we endure. Stand up and be counted and maybe with a gun by your side. With the courage to use it. We kill for our government, we die for our country or we suffer the disabilities from our service. They don’t care, maybe Trump is the answer if he can clean our house first then worry about other countries. We revolted against English abuse once may be it’s time we look at Washington and force them out, all of them but a select group who have stood up for all of us regardless of the political party we are registered with.

  • what

    Medicare go up $165 A Moth so if you get $1200 it well be $1045 why are we taking it.

  • William Clark

    Stop fighting for this country and let some of their asses go to WAR .Why should we fight and they seen their kids to Collage because they make good money that’s why most of their have a better life then ours.

  • William Clark

    By the way we still help other COUNTRIES out with our taxes money.Why our GOV can do that.If they thank about us they would stop our money from leaving this country and give us some.

  • Sure hope we don’t see a pay increase for our worthless leaders.

  • gremlins84

    gas prices may be down but it sure is not reflected in any of the food prices or other items that we purchase in the stores. I recently so a chuck roast just a little over 3lbs was $23.00 where at one time it would have been $5 or $6. The food prices have more then triples sense gas prices have gone down. We will loos more out of S.S. checks because they are going to raise medicare cost because you think that there is no reason to give a cola in 2016. Those on S.S will make less money and have to find way to live on it. Many have cut out health insurance because they can’t afford it any more thanks to Obamas unaffordable health care. Congress better not get raises in place of those of us not receiving cola in 2016

  • Jazzylady54

    This is so crazy they base the COLA on gas prices & working ppl. Forget about the seniors, disabled & vets. They don’t take in consideration that food prices are going up every week, medical co-pays are on the rise & many have to pay for their meds that insurance don’t cover & housing is expensive.

    I do agree that they need to get these lazy ppl off welfare that are able bodied & make them find some kind of job. Maybe if we vets & seniors vote their butts out of office maybe they’ll get the message. These elected officials are only worried about their own pockets….

  • S J


    I am retired from the US Navy but I still don’t drink gasoline. Cost of food may not change but the quantity in the can or box is LESS than last year. It must be dificult to receive only 175K to make ends meet.

  • Merrill

    It;s a wonder that there isn’t a revolution over this. Nice to get screwed for what we did to fight for this country.

  • Capn Ron

    I’m 75 years old and still have to work to make ends meet! This administration has been one joke after another since 2009!!! So my military retirement, my disability, and my social security will not go up! Will medicare costs go up?? Gas is the only thing that has dropped in price! Real estate is up, groceries are up, (I work in a supermarket, so I know what I’m talking about) God help us!

  • U.S.N. Retired

    Yes, we get screwed again by the O’bama administration, and isn’t it nice that they let us vent here. Where the general public has no idea how the Veterans of their country feel. Everyone should inundate their papers/radio stations etc. with the viewpoints, so the rest of the country knows. Do you honestly believe the people of this country have any idea that we feel this way, or that this is only the 3rd time all under this non-administration? USE FACEBOOK also! No wonder Trump is doing so well.

  • william buchan

    I would like to know what has the price of gasoline got to do with our social security. Absolutely nothing.The government is screwing us all., What we need are people like Donald Trump.He means what he says, and does what he says. He tells it is.

  • david_eberhardt

    Retired are paying more for their Tricare this year. Food prices at Commissary have gone up this year. I think the President should stop getting free trips to play free golf.

    • RLS516

      President Obama has nothing to do with ths. The last increase for the president was 2001. GWB took the most vacations, even if was at the ranch he had in texas only while president. COLA is determined by Congress. The GOP Congress that is eating each other & not doing Anything for anyone regarding jobs, infrastructure or any of the other promises they made.

  • buck

    Nice. Thank you for your service once again means absolutely nothing .

  • jjmcl

    and all three years of no cola increases comes during Dear Leader’s time as ruler of the universe. thank you obama.

    • RLS516

      Again, COLA increases are determined by Congress, not the president, any president.

  • Guest

    Looks like a lot of unhappy people. The Government forgot to include the fact my health Insurance company has increased their premiums for me and my wife for 2016. Also the government must not go to the grocery store very often. Tried buying any beef lately?

    • Wes

      Does the President & Congress get Cola

  • Jim B.

    I agree with almost everything posted here. What can we do about it? Not much… except vote. A bit drastic but this will send congress a message…DO NOT vote for a single democrat alias the progressive party. I am 85 years of age and have witnessed the erosion of our government. Longtime former democrat.

  • Tony

    Thanks to the veterans who wanted change and voted for it. I did not for thi or change more on government assistance than ever!, there is your change! Oh yeah $15 an hour burger flippers…

    You got what you voted for

    • Sirad M Little

      We got change alright

  • cliff

    Retired people don’t drive every day!!! so how do they benefit from this? with the cost of utilities continue to rise, how is this helping us. also somebody forgot to tell the state of California that gas prices should be lower with the national average cost.

  • Jason Y

    What a damned stupid policy! Basing your COLA upon wage earners is just plain idiotic. Disabled veterans have different needs and buying habits. One of the biggest items used t calculate the COLA is the purchase price of gasoline. Last time I checked, disabled folks don’t use as much gasoline as working folks. A better index would be based upon medicine, groceries, rent and utilities.

  • d.p

    There was a proposed increase of cola before October 1st of 1.3 %,My landlord raised my lot rent by $25,00 effective Nov. 1st which he has not recanted whereas he’s taken my1.3% each month anyway, leaving me to pay all the other expenses, food,clothing and heating bills. His cost of living expenses does not worry him….,he laughs all the way to the bank!!!!

  • Theodore Martin

    It’s time for a new change in our government get those dems out!

  • Peter Bocompani

    By looking at all of our comments, if looks like we are all on the same page.We need to communicate this to the people in Washington who have allowed this to happen. Let’s collectively let these “twists” know how we feel and what we are going to do, otherwise, we are just complaining to each other with no end in sight.

  • roy

    just keep voting for democ rats so they can give your cola to illegals

  • RespectTheArmy

    Did congress and civil servants get a COLA raise or pay raise? If they did then they are the priority of this administration and not the Military.

  • pap56

    Lawmaker Says Congress Needs A Pay Raise So People Who Aren’t Wealthy Can Serve |Janie Velencia | Posted 05.19.2015 | Politics

    WASHINGTON — Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) on Monday spoke in favor of a pay raise for members of Congress before the House Rules Committee, arguing that the current system doesn’t offer enough incentives for less-affluent citizens to enter public service.

    “I will say it until I leave,” he lamented, as reported by CQ Roll Call. “Members deserve to be paid, staff deserve to be paid and the cost of living here is causing serious problems for people who are not wealthy to be able to serve in this institution.”
    All politicians are crooked and they don’t look out for the interests of the people.

  • Mike

    Vote for Bernie Sanders

  • Rob

    All 3 of the zero COLA years have been under Obama’s watch.

  • Jackie

    I’m a disable Air Force Veteran David. Where are you shopping first of all? I stretch my dollar, by preparing meals that fit my budget. No, I’m not on food stamps and blessed to have an income that most individuals don’t have. I shop at different stores so I can get great bargains. I use coupons, buy bulk or what it takes. There is an egg shortage, so that’s why eggs have increased. Did you contact your congress representative as to why there is no COLA increase? It’s so easy to complain, but about what another person is doing. Maybe that person just lost their job and paid taxes just like you and is entitled to buy whatever for their family. I guess you would judge me if you saw what I would buy too. Don’t judge people until you know their story.

  • Jason

    Everyone who is pointing the finger at the commander-in-chief should be well aware that the Republican/obstructionist Congress has way more influence over this matter.

  • Guest

    They have only been in control for what?? A year? So what does that say about the previous years when it was controlled by democrats since 2007?

  • Deb

    Okay, I guess I’m behind the curve…didn’t know till today that I for the third time since I retired will receive a big fat ZERO increase in my retirement. Now, you see I wouldn’t mind so much IF nothing I purchased through the year went up or if my utilities didn’t go up. I also wouldn’t mind so much IF after six years, 20 years experience in my field, a degree and a DA diploma I could actually get a flipping job and one that paid more than minimum wage working at McDonalds flipping burgers! I just believe that our government and specifically this administration is spending money on the wrong people! AD military, retirees, disabled veterans, our senior citizens who have worked all their lives. We are the people they should be taking care of and start creating meaningful middle class jobs with decent wages to go along with it and for the love of everything that is holy get rid of OBAMBACARE!

  • kurtcooper25

    Glad to see mobile is back up, for a minute there I thought I said something wrong and got the ban hammer.

    I don’t do retail therapy, but trips to the exchange for fun have been a staple of mine for a long time. People watching, letting the kids drool over toys, drooling over TV’s (ok so I often ignore ball being played inside in hopes that something hits my securely fastened to the wall flat screen (it’s small, and the buttons are going out, as is the IR sensor on the TV)).

    But my frugality is resource based, more than finance based so I don’t buy new goods unless absolutely necessary, and any purchase can wait 24 hours (Amazon shopping cart trick right there, you can add everything to your cart and instead of buying it, just walk away, you’ll get the rush of buying it, without the remorse of having to find a place for it (after all our brains are pretty simple and can be tricked by saying we did something rather than doing it (this is why diets and gym commitments fail, we say we are doing those things, people say how proud they are, and we get our reward)).

  • wes

    Ever since the present President (I hate to mention his name because it makes me sick every time I do) I spent 28 years in the Navy, & look want I get for fighting for this country, an idiot President, I cant wait tell he’s out of office, then maybe we will get our COLA back, which we deserve!!!!!!